Quando mi apparve una montagna, bruna
Per la distanza, e parvemi alta tanto
Che mai veduta non ne avevo alcuna.

Sí, sí, “alta tanto”, non “molto alta”, proposizione consecutiva. E le montagne, quando si vedono di lontano…le montagne…oh Pikolo, Pikolo, di’ qualcosa, parla, non lasciarmi pensare alle mie montagne, che comparivano nel bruno della sera quando tornavo in treno da Milano a Torino!

Basta, bisogna proseguire, queste sono cose che se pensano ma non si dicono. Pikolo attende e mi guarda.

–Primo Levi, Se questo è un uomo

I wonder if I will ever feel this way about Levi’s mountains, which I see from Levi’s home. Right now I miss a different home. He had more reason though.  

What a wonderful, dream-like chapter!


Nature study

January 19, 2012

“I am not always in sympathy with nature-study as pursued in the schools, as if this kingdom could be carried by assault. Such study is too cold, too special, too mechanical; it is likely to rub the bloom off Nature. It lacks soul and emotion; it misses the accessories of the open air and its exhilarations, the sky, the clouds, the landscape, and the currents of life that pulse everywhere.

…What I have learned about [nature’s] ways I have learned easily, almost unconsciously…My desultory habits have their disadvantages, no doubt, but they have their advantages also. A too strenuous pursuit defeats itself. In the fields and woods more than anywhere else all things come to those who wait, because all things are on the move, and are sure sooner or later to come your way.”

–John Burroughs, The Gospel of Nature

September 30, 2010

“To be close to people, but alone, and suddenly to feel with extraordinary force these woods, these empty wet branches against the gray sky, all the things that are stifled by the presence of people coming to life, living their own independent existence, every minute whole, not fragmented.”

–Father Alexander Schmemann, December 12, 1973